CFP: New Collection on Childhood Studies and the Humanities
Call for Papers Date:
We seek essays that explore the intersections between the growing field of Childhood Studies and other disciplines in the humanities. Childhood Studies, broadly construed, seeks a trans-disciplinary understanding of the child as a discursive and material site of cultural (re)production, subjection, agency, and resistance. We are particularly interested in essays that discuss how foregrounding the child as a site of inquiry can both enhance and challenge scholarly work in the humanities.
Some points of intersection might include, but are not limited to:
Childhood Studies and. . .
The History of the Book
Critical Race Theory
For further details, please see the attached description of the proposed volume.
Please send queries and/or abstracts (250-500 words) describing proposed essays for the volume together with a short c.v. to Anna Mae Duane (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lucia Hodgson (email@example.com) by April 21, 2009. The deadline for accepted essays is September 15, 2009.
CFP: THE CHILDREN'S TABLE: CHILDHOOD STUDIES IN THE HUMANITIES
Eds. Anna Mae Duane (University of Connecticut)
Lucia Hodgson (University of Southern California)
Social scientists have long seen the child as a legitimate site of study, and as a key to understanding vital points of cultural, economic and social exchange. In the past ten years, there has been an explosion of humanities scholarship investigating the role of the child in American culture, in literary studies, and in global capitalism. For humanities scholars, however, the figure of the child poses a particular set of problems. A ubiquitous symbol for the non-citizen, the dependent, the voiceless, and the incomplete subject, the child does not easily fit within scholarly focus on historical agency, literary voice, and cultural subversion. Because the child, as the object of inquiry, does not (and cannot) have an institutional seat at the table of humanities scholarship, scholars of childhood must ask different questions about authenticity, subjectivity, and autonomy.
A foil for Locke's reasoning and consenting citizen and a voice that is inextricable from the demands of powerful adults, the child presents an opportunity to rethink current scholarly investment in the autonomous liberal subject, and in what Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has called the "politics of authenticity." In addition, the child figure structures many of humanities' fundamental tenets, including the idea of tabula rasa, the arc of maturation, the celebration of resistance, and the primacy of the (adult) subject. The study of the child will necessarily create new ways of thinking through some of the most important and provocative issues in humanities scholarship: the recovery of colonized and subalternized voices, the viability of the autonomous liberal subject as a political model, the definition of agency, the performance of identity, and the construction of gender and race, to name a few.
The Children's Table will build upon the rich scholarship analyzing the conceptual frameworks imposed upon the child to investigate how metaphors of childhood have influenced scholarly thinking in the humanities. For instance, as Courtney Weikle-Mills has recently argued, many of the most influential approaches to the early American republic are framed in a binary that divides a tough-minded public adult citizen from an increasingly infantilized private subject incapable of the independence necessary for a true democracy. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum has argued for a systematic revision of the deeply entrenched notion of the social contract--a contract that, by definition, excludes the child who is incapable of either the threat or the profit that earns one a place at the bargaining table. Bill Ashcroft has shown how the trope of the child absorbs and suppresses the contradictions of imperial discourse, providing a "natural" justification for imperial domination. The Children's Table seeks essays from a wide variety of disciplines to address the theoretical and methodological consequences of rethinking the deeply entrenched binaries dividing child from adult, dependence from autonomy, education from oppression, irrationality from reason, and subject from citizen.
Ultimately, this collection will fulfill two interlocking scholarly aims: It will provide a truly transdisciplinary snapshot of the current scholarship in Childhood Studies, with essays by groundbreaking scholars in this growing field. In addition, it will offer a strategic overview of the challenges and opportunities Childhood Studies provokes in a wide range of disciplines in the humanities.
Anna Mae Duane
University of Connecticut
855 University Drive
Torrington, CT 06460
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